What Is SEO? A Basic Guide

Launching a brand new website for your business or company?

Before you do, it’s important to plan your SEO campaign. Without it, you might not gain enough traffic to sustain your site. But what is SEO in the first place and why is it important?

Don’t panic, we’ve prepared an in-depth guide below to help you understand the power and importance of this digital marketing method. Continue reading to learn more:

Search Engine Dominance

Keep in mind that Google easily dominates the search engine market.

If people want to find something, they’ll turn to Google first. Say for example you want to find a local pizza restaurant in a city you’re visiting. You’ll likely use Google to find a list of places or reviews to check out.

This means you’ll want your website to be there when people make searches related to your service or product. Visibility and prominence are your main goals.

If more people see your site, more people will visit. This increases the chances of people subscribing, sharing, and buying your products or hiring your services.

Getting there is where SEO comes into the picture. What is SEO marketing? Let’s tackle that next.

What is SEO

So, what is SEO? Search Engine Optimization, in a nutshell, is the collection of procedures and methods to rank high on organic search results. It’s far different than PPC (Pay-Per-Click) which involves paying for ads. SEO is all about organic methods to achieve organic results.

Most SEO tactics involve researching for important keywords. You’ll need to implement these keywords on page titles and meta descriptions, blog entries, and even the URL of your pages. Google uses crawl bots and they’ll work by associating a page’s content with relevant keywords repeated throughout the page.

However, SEO methods change over time. Google and its contemporaries often update their algorithms to guarantee relevant search results. What worked ten years ago may not work today.

That said, there are certain elements to SEO that still ring true. There is still a high focus on delivering relevant information to your site visitors and blog readers. Keywords still matter and there’s no denying website design and speed also play a role in improving your SEO efforts.

Benefits of SEO

Why invest in SEO? Does it even matter in today’s world?

The biggest benefit of SEO is that it helps your site pages rank higher. If people search for “phone repairs in Chicago” and your pages are on the first page of listed results, they’ll likely click on your website before they scroll down or go to the second or third page. You’ll get the most traffic for ranking higher.

A higher ranking also builds your reputation. You ranked high so now people will assume your site and business are the reigning authority for that niche.

Types of SEO

Not all SEO tactics fall under the same umbrella. There are multiples types and they each aim for different goals. The methods and target audience are different but at the end of the day, they all aim to increase web traffic.

Local SEO

This is SEO that focuses on a local neighborhood. For example, if your coffee shop is in Pensacola, Florida, you’ll want your SEO efforts to target people in the same city. This ensures people in the area will find your shop when they use Google to find local cafes and restaurants.

It won’t make sense for your SEO efforts to reach a global or country-wide audience. It’s unlikely people in Malaysia will search for cafes in Pensacola. However, there is a method for brands and companies that do offer services or products: global SEO.

Global SEO

This type of digital marketing is all about building your brand. You’re not hoping to drive local traffic. The goal now is to make your brand known across the country or around the world.

A good example is the main website for Nike. The company’s focus isn’t to sell shoes on their site — there are thousands of websites around the world that do that for them. Instead, the Nike website focuses on promoting the latest shoe lineups, news announcements, and product details.

On Page SEO

This refers to SEO done on your website. On-page SEO is all about using keywords to build consistency and relevance on a page. When Google’s crawl bots check a page, they’ll find repeated keywords and will check if the content of the page relates to the used keywords.

For example, a page selling an espresso machine should have the keyword “espresso machine” in the URL, title tags, meta description, and on the page’s text.

Writing a blog? Your blog post should use strong keywords related to the topic and it should appear in the title of the post and the body. You’ll want it on a few headers too.

Off Page SEO

There is also off-page SEO. This mainly refers to tactics meant to build a website’s authority and backlinking profile. For example, your website can gain authority if sites like CNN or Medium link back to it.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to conduct off-page SEO. One good tactic is to publish content on your site that people will want to link back to. This is why entertaining and educating your website visitors/readers is important: it gives people reason to keep coming back.

Launch Your SEO Campaign Today

What is SEO? It’s an essential process to help your site gain visitors, generate leads, and increase ROI. Without SEO, it’s unlikely your site will gain enough visibility and authority for it to thrive. You won’t earn and your web pages will gather dust.

Of course, understanding the basics of SEO is only the start.

You now have to give it a try. It’s time to attempt a few SEO tactics and work with experts to hit your goals. Fortunately, we’ve got more digital marketing and SEO guides for you to check out so don’t hesitate to keep reading!


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